Centre Street Bridge (Calgary)
|Centre Street Bridge|
Centre Street Bridge seen from Crescent Heights
|Crosses||Bow River, Memorial Drive|
|Maintained by||City of Calgary|
|Designer||John F. Green|
|Total length||178 meters (584 ft)|
|Width||15 meters (49 ft)|
|Piers in water||2|
|Opened||18 December 1916|
The Centre Street Bridge is a bridge in Calgary, Alberta, crossing the Bow River, along the Centre Street. The lower deck connects Riverfront Avenue in Chinatown with Memorial Drive, while the upper elevated deck crosses Memorial Drive as well, reaching into the community of Crescent Heights.
It was built by The City of Calgary in 1916 for $375,000. It replaced the MacArthur Bridge, a steel truss bridge built by a land developer called the Centre Street Bridge Company Limited The MacArthur Bridge was destroyed by a flood in 1915. Centre Street Bridge was designed by John F. Green, featured an upper and lower deck, and large cast concrete lions on four massive plinths, two at each end of the bridge. The lions were cast by Scottish mason James L. Thompson, and were modelled after the brass lions at the base of Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square, London. The upper deck, a reinforced concrete arch structure, spans 178 meters (584 ft) and is 15 meters (49 ft) wide. The lower deck, an "I" girders structure, runs for 150 meters (490 ft) and is 5.5 meters (18 ft) wide.
Centre Street Bridge is the central point of the quadrant system of the city.
The bridge went through extensive restoration in 2001, when it was closed for one year. The lower deck is configured with reversible lanes. The original lions were replaced with replicas after considerable debate. Local legends of adjacent Chinatown hold that the lions would come alive after dark and roam the city streets. One of the original lions is now located at City Hall, another is in long term storage.
- Centre Street Bridge Lions: Rehabilitation and Replication of Historic Concrete Sculpture (Lorne Simpson, Paul Gaudette, Deborah Slaton, published in APT Bulletin, Vol. 32, No. 2/3 (2001), pp. 13-20)
- pdf with history of lions